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Backstage Acquires FilmFreeway, Coverfly and Voice 123 in $200 Million Acquisition Spree

Backstage adds FilmFreeway, Coverfly and Voice 123 to its stable to serve freelance talent

Backstage, the freelancer and casting marketplace for content creators, has made $200 million in acquisitions this year, the company announced this month.

Among the acquisitions, orchestrated to expand the 60-year-old company’s suite of tools as well as its talent pool of creative professionals: the film-festival marketplace FilmFreeway, the writers platform Coverfly and the voice-over artist marketplace Voice123.

Backstage, launched in 1960 as a weekly tabloid newspaper offering casting listings for New York actors, said in a statement that the acquisitions were supported by continued strategic investment from TA Associates, a global private equity firm. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Creative content continues to be the critical differentiating factor across the media landscape from streaming services to social user acquisition & brand ads,” Josh Ellstein, CEO of Backstage, in said in a statement. “With FilmFreeway, Coverfly, and Voice 123, we’ll continue building a robust toolkit to enable creators to focus on being creative.”

Backstage president Michael Felman added, “The volume and velocity of content production have continued to accelerate, providing Backstage a clear opportunity to build a greater suite of services for today’s creative professionals. Consistent with our acquisition strategy, these companies will both expand our platform into additional creative segments and allow our customers to more efficiently produce and distribute quality content at scale.”

Andrew Lapica, founder of FilmFreeway, commented in the statement, “Backstage is the right steward for FilmFreeway. This acquisition represents a compelling opportunity to deliver further and long-lasting value and resources to our global community of creatives. During our evaluation, it became clear that Backstage has a deep appreciation for FilmFreeway’s technology as well as for the people, mission, customers and the value impact of the company.”

Coverfly co-founder and president Scot Lawrie, whose company was previously owned by Industry Arts, added: “By joining forces with Backstage, we’re able to offer even more resources to writers who are looking to take the next step in their careers and become their best creative selves. We are proud to bolster our efforts to make the entertainment industry more accessible for all through Backstage.”

Rolf Veldman, CEO of Voice123, said that the demand for voice-over professionals is rising in the areas of branded content, videogames, audiobooks and e-learning. “With Backstage’s robust talent-on-demand resources, we;’re able to better serve the growing professional needs of voiceovers globally,” he said.